Mad Dog is the nickname of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft of American Airlines and it was the workhorse of the airline for nearly four decades. It was used extensively on domestic routes across the country since 1983. The newest configuration of the plane can accommodate 140 passenger seats.

Kerry Philipovitch, the senior vice president said - "The MD-80 was really the backbone of the American Airlines fleet for decades." He made these comments to a section of the media. The planes that are retired carried millions of passengers and the airline probably has plans to induct the latest designs of aircraft in keeping with the times.

It is natural because a design of the 1980s cannot compare with designs of the modern-day that offer many more options.

USA Today provides details of the last journey of this Mad Dog MD-80. It flew from Dallas for the last time and was bound for Chicago. Subsequently, it was ferried to Roswell, the storage facility.

History of Mad Dog MD-80

American Airlines inducted three Mad Dog MD-80s in 1983 and at that time, it catered to airports in six cities. This plane was one of the most fuel-efficient commercial planes in that period.

In 2003, the number of aircraft increased to 362. This was a record of sorts because it accounted for nearly one-third of all MD-80 planes manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. Andrew Trull, a spokesperson for American Airlines, says that “At one point MD-80 planes made up 49% of AA’s fleet.” That goes to show the reliability of the aircraft.

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USA Today says the last journey of the final MD-80 passenger flight terminated at the resting place of such aircrafts.

The reason for retirement is the fleet renewal program of American Airlines. New aircraft will enter service, aircraft that are new, fuel-efficient models. It could be a mix of Boeing 737s and Airbus A321s popular all over the world.

End of one era, beginning of another

According to CNN, bidding goodbye to the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft was the end of an era for American Airlines but it also meant the beginning of a new era. The carrier’s last MD-80 flew its last revenue flight AA80 Wednesday. It took off from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 9 AM and arrived at Chicago O'Hare around 11:30 a.m. These planes are different from other mainline American planes in the positioning of its engines, which are mounted on the rear fuselage.

Planes nowadays have engines mounted on the wings. This aircraft was the most fuel-efficient one in its time and probably the airline wants another plane that will prove to be more efficient. That will be profitable in the age of stiff competition. American Airlines has invested billions in its product and people. It has made a name for itself and it wants to maintain the tradition. Incidentally, some other airlines still operate the MD series of aircraft, hence it is not a final goodbye for Mad Dog.